Wild horse gathers on Wind River Reservation had ‘astounding’ results, Natural Resource Trust says

    The wild horse gather operations that were conducted last year on the Wind River Reservation have already resulted in “astounding” ecological improvements, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust executive director Bob Budd told state lawmakers this month.

    To demonstrate the change, Budd showed the Wyoming Legislature’s Select Natural Resources Funding Committee a photograph from a 2022 visit to a local site that was previously “completely denuded” by feral horses.

    h/t Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust via Wyoming Legislature

    “There was nothing out there but piles of horse manure, and we saw no wildlife,” he said.


    But when he returned to the same location last fall, after “thousands of horses (had) been gathered and removed,” Budd said the situation had improved.

    “Granted, it was a very good year,” he said, “but you’ve got all of the vegetation coming back. …

    “We saw sage grouse, we saw deer, we saw antelope, (and) there’s evidence of elk and bighorn sheep there.”

    He anticipates that the state will participate in “one more major gather” on the reservation in 2024, but that is “probably the last one that we will do,” since the Bureau of Indian Affairs has now “come in with millions of dollars to supplement this” project.


    “They saw the benefit,” Budd said. “Now they’ve picked up their end. So good leverage, good match. …

    “This is a really good project working with the Tribes.”


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